MOUSE TAIL MOON

This short, thematic poetry collection from Ryder (Big Bear Ball, p. 666, etc.) focuses on one night in the life of a common field mouse, though this mouse is an uncommonly accomplished rodent who writes first-person narrative poems describing a mouse’s world. In 18 rhyming selections, the mouse poet examines the metaphor of a “Mouse Tail Moon” (a new moon curved like a tail); a mouse’s defenses, such as smell, camouflage, whiskers, and flight; food and water; parasites (fleas), enemies (an owl and a fox), birth, death, communication, and play. Most of the poems are humorous, such as “Whisker Wise,” about the use of whiskers as a navigational device, while “Brother” deftly shows the sadness of losing an unwary relative to an all-too-wary fox. Kneen (The Snow Bear, 2001, etc.) uses a muted moonlit palette for her charming watercolor illustrations of the mouse narrator, along with friends and foes. Each illustration employs a different size and format, integrated with abundant white space, a large type size, and a delightfully subtle, curving pink line next to the page numbers (representing a tiny mouse tail). The arresting cover shows the title in luminous white letters against a twilight-lavender background, with a vigilant owl, the crescent moon, and the echoing crescent of the mouse narrator’s tail curving out of the illustration’s border. Teachers in the early elementary grades will find this book useful both as poetry and as literature that effectively integrates interesting factual information. (Poetry. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-8050-6404-4

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2002

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MERCY WATSON GOES FOR A RIDE

She’s back! Mercy, the porcine wonder, is back in all her buttered-toast eating glory. It’s Saturday, time for a ride in the pink convertible. But, does Mercy like to ride or drive? Drive! Only Mrs. Watson’s promise of extra helpings of hot buttered toast can get this clever pig to scoot across the front seat and enjoy the weekly adventure. And when next-door neighbor Baby Lincoln hankers for a little adventure of her own, the fun really begins. From the toast icons that surround the page numbers, to faux-tape spine, and hilariously gaudy over-the-top illustrations, this is a throw-back in the best sense of the word. When Mercy ends up sitting on top of Mr. Watson in the driver’s seat and Baby has to crawl over the seat to help out, it’s hard not to think of Lucy, Ethel and Ricky caught in another pickle. All’s well that ends well, of course, and that means everyone can celebrate with a stack of toast and an extra pat of butter. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-7636-2332-6

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MERCY WATSON TO THE RESCUE

Hilarity and hijinks abound in this tale about a voracious swine with an overweening yen for hot buttered toast. Mercy is the beloved pet pig of the doting Mr. and Mrs. Watson. When Mercy sneaks into her owner’s bed one night, her added heft causes the bed to fall partway through the ceiling. Although the besotted Watsons assume Mercy is trotting off to seek help, the only search and rescue Mercy seems to care about involves butter and hot bread. In her quest for some midnight munchies, Mercy awakens the crotchety neighbor. Wild chases and mayhem ensue before help arrives in the guise of firefighters. DiCamillo aims for over-the-top fun with her tale of porcine shenanigans, and Van Dusen’s gouache illustrations provide a comical counterpart to the text. The glossy paintings, with exaggerated caricatures and lively colors, complement DiCamillo’s tone, although the scowling, lantern-jawed visage of the crabby neighbor borders on the unpleasant. With vocabulary that may prove too challenging for a novice, DiCamillo’s tale is best suited for those ready to move up. However, the pacing and the action easily make it right for shared reading. (Fiction. 6-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7636-2270-2

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2005

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more